Mount Rosary Agricultural project is proposed for self-support in food requirement, for the maintenance and sustenance of the inmates and the sisters, living and servicing at the Institutions. The most needed and important item in the agricultural programme of Mount Rosary is paddy and vegetable cultivation.
At the rate of half a quintal of rice per day, Mount Rosary needs 15 quintals of rice per month. At the rate of 30 kg’s of vegetables per day, Mount Rosary needs 900 kg’s of vegetables per month. Vegetables can be grown at Mount Rosary all through the year, except when the rains are very heavy in the months of June and July. Mount Rosary can produce its own vegetables for the rest of 10 months of the year. Regarding paddy cultivation (for rice), Mount Rosary can grow the khariff crop of June, July, August, September, relying on rain-fed cultivation. But the rabi crop of October, November, December , January and summer crop of February, March, April and May cannot be grown in Mount Rosary lands because of lack of water. The water we conserve, is needed for growing vegetables, and for animal consumption and for human consumption as well. We attempted a second crop of paddy earlier but have failed miserably in the past because of water problem. Therefore we have gone intensively in vegetable cultivation for the recent past two years and have been successful in growing vegetables that are needed for 10 months of the year. For growing of vegetables, the quantity of water needed is much less, than needed for paddy cultivation.
Mount Rosary grows paddy in five acres of its lands, which is leveled and laid out in fields. The soil is red laterite and not sandy loamy, which would have been ideal for paddy cultivation, which is mostly available, at the side of river beds and in the valleys between hillocks. But we make good use of our red laterite soil, by using farmyard manure from our cattle stable, from the compost we prepare out of green manure we have ,we do not use fertilizers. We tried many better paddy seeds to get good yield, like I.R.8., Jyothi, Jaya, Shakthi etc. and we found Jaya giving the best of yield in our lands. For one acre, we secured around 15 quintals of rice in one crop, which is 30 quintals of paddy and this is a good yield. We grow jaya in five acres and hence we have needed rice for the five months of the year. For the rest of the seven months of the year, we have to buy rice from the market, at the present rate of Rs.2500/- per quintal. We need 105 quintal of rice for the seven months and therefore we have to find Rs.2,62,500/- every year for the purpose of purchasing rice alone from the market.
Vegetables is another very important food item for the inmates of Mount Rosary. Excepting in the months of June and July, when the rains are heavy, vegetables are grown for the 10 months of the year. Vegetables do not survive in very heavy rains and therefore in the months of June and July, our region imports vegetables from the Ghats, where rainfall is less and vegetables grow over there lustily. But the cost of the vegetables is double because of transport.
The Vegetables that Mount Rosary grows are leafy vegetables, gherkins, pumpkins, beans, cucumber, sweet potatoes, sweet-pumpkin, brinjal, green-chilly, banana etc. We even try a little of tomatoes and carrot, though our climate is not so suitable for such type of vegetables. We need 30 kg’s vegetables per day and therefore for a month, we need 900 kg’s of vegetables. For ten months of the year we have our own vegetables and the cost of producing these vegetables, consists in getting proper seeds, which we try to produce from our own garden, and we use farmyard manure, which we have in plenty. But we need irrigation and of course labour charges for three workers everyday.
• Since we have our own paddy cultivation, which gives us rice for five months of the year, we purchase for the rest seven months of the year, 105 quintals of rice at an average cost of Rupees 2500/- per quintal.
Total Rs : 2,62,500/-
• Wages for three labourers at Rs.250/- per labourer for ten months of the year 250x3x30x10
• Cost of vegetables purchases for the months of June and July from the market at Rs. 20/-(average) per kilo.
Total Rs. 38,000/-
Sisters, Helpers of Mount Rosary are members having a village background and agricultural experience. The sisters have love for agriculture and respect for the soil and labour. Together with the men workers, sisters also work in the paddy cultivation, at the time of planting and harvesting. They join the men workers in vegetable cultivation, in planting vegetable seedling or manuring or in plant disease control.
The sisters have regular courses in paddy cultivation, in soil management, in vegetable growing, in plant diseases control etc. During the formation and training period of the sisters, not only do the sisters study religious subjects, like theology and scripture etc. but also study agriculture, animal husbandry, horticulture, flori culture and also pisci-culture.
Mount Rosary Agriculture project therefore needs your support , of every year, which we pray Mother Mary to provide us annually.